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As the strength training trend gathers pace, researchers highlight the benefits of keeping up the cardio
By Kath Hudson 19 Feb 2024
New research says keep cardio for long-term health Credit: Shutterstock/LightField Studios
Iowa State University researchers find half-strength and half-cardio is the optimum way to exercise
This exercise combination is best at reducing cardiovascular risk and boosting longevity
It combines heart health benefits with the development of lean muscle
Strength training alone will not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
While strength training gives valuable muscular gains it doesn’t give the heart health benefits of aerobic exercise, according to new research from Iowa State University.

The newly-released research – Aerobic, resistance, or combined exercise training and cardiovascular risk profile in overweight or obese adults which was published in the European Heart Journal, found that either full cardio or half-strength, half-cardio are the most effective exercise programmes to protect the heart.

Evidence from other studies show strength training has further benefits, such as improving glucose metabolism, body composition (lean mass) and muscular strength.

The one-year randomised control exercise trial included 406 participants aged between 35 and 70. All participants met the criteria for being overweight or obese; had slightly elevated blood pressure, but weren’t taking medications; were non-smokers and prior to the study were not meeting activity guidelines. However, the participants were predominantly white and well-educated which does limit the scope.

Researchers randomly assigned participants to one of four groups: no exercise, aerobic only, resistance only, or aerobic and resistance. Those in the exercise groups worked out under supervision for an hour, three times a week for a year.

Workouts were tailored to fitness levels and health conditions, with built-in progression. Physical activity and diet data outside the lab was also taken into consideration. All participants, including the non-exercise group, wore pedometers.

Researchers measured blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting glucose and body fat percentage – all cardiovascular disease risk factors – at the start, at the midway point and at the conclusion of the trial.

Results showed that the percentage of body fat in all three exercise groups had decreased significantly compared to the no-exercise control group, but taking all four cardiovascular disease risk factors into consideration, the aerobic and combined exercise groups had lower composite scores than the control group.

Those in the aerobics-only group saw best improvements in the VO2 max test and the resistance-only group saw the biggest gains in the maximal bench and leg press tests for muscular strength.

However, the combination exercise group saw improvements in both aerobic fitness and muscular strength, suggesting that a 50/50 mix between strength and cardio is the best way to train, said the researchers.

Meta-analysis suggests that aerobic or combined exercise is generally superior to resistance exercise when it comes to blood pressure, body fat, glucose metabolism and lipid profile.

Observational studies also suggest that combined exercise provides larger risk reductions in developing clinical endpoints such as metabolic syndrome, hypercholesterolaemia, obesity and cardiovascular morbidity or mortality.

The data suggests that shorter durations of aerobic or resistance exercise – even less than one hour a week – may be sufficient to provide substantial cardiovascular benefits, with diminishing returns with increasing exercise time. This may explain the significant improvement in the composite cardiovascular risk profile with the half-aerobic and half-resistance exercise group.

Researchers found that lean mass at one year was only found in the resistance group, compared to the control group, which might make strength training more appealing for those looking to improve their body aesthetics, as well as for those who are less mobile and find cardio exercise difficult.

“Combined resistance plus aerobic exercise could be considered to increase both cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular strength that are also important to attenuate the harmful effects of obesity on cardiovascular disease prevention and longevity,” said the researchers.

The study was designed to induce no or negligible weight loss to investigate the independent effects of exercise on cardiovascular disease risk factors. However, the findings of -1 per cent body fat reduction is associated with -3 per cent, -4 per cent and -8 per cent lower risks of developing cardiovascular disease risk factor of hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia and metabolic syndrome respectively.


News
1 to 12 of 8740 news stories
20 Jun 2024
Fitness influencer and karate champion, Anna Lewandowska, has announced the launch of a multi-concept boutique in Barcelona called Edan Studios based on HIIT, Pilates and dance. Lewandowska has signed franchise agreements for two Holmes Place ... More
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19 Jun 2024
Victoria Brownlie, the British Beauty Council’s chief of policy and sustainability, has been named in King Charles’ Birthday Honours 2024 for her services to the UK’s beauty and personal care industry. Brownlie has been praised ... More
19 Jun 2024
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18 Jun 2024
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13 Jun 2024
The 2024 G7 Summit is now underway at a destination spa resort in Puglia, Italy, with leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US convening to address some of the world’s ... More
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Minor Hotels CEO Dillip Rajakarier has unveiled plans to introduce an innovative medi-wellness concept to the group's Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas brand, with ambitions to expand the concept to additional resorts in the future. ... More
10 Jun 2024
Global Wellness Day (GWD) marked its 13th anniversary on Saturday, 8 June and was reportedly celebrated by a record-breaking 1 billion people worldwide, making it the most successful year yet. Founded in 2012 by Belgin ... More
07 Jun 2024
Wellness industry figure Deepak Chopra is co-developing a new wellness community and resort focused on wellbeing and longevity in Utah’s Heber Valley, centred around natural geothermal springs. Named Ameyalli – an Aztec term meaning "a ... More
06 Jun 2024
European health spa operator Ensana has announced the strategic appointment of Dr László Puczkó as senior health spa advisor. Established in 2019, Ensana manages 28 hotels across the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and ... More
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The Great Spa Towns of Europe (GSTE) has announced the successful approval of its funding application under the European Town Twinning Programme. This funding will support a year-long project named INTERSPACE, aimed at fostering intercultural ... More
     
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Spa Life International
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NEWS
As the strength training trend gathers pace, researchers highlight the benefits of keeping up the cardio
POSTED 19 Feb 2024 . BY Kath Hudson
New research says keep cardio for long-term health Credit: Shutterstock/LightField Studios
Iowa State University researchers find half-strength and half-cardio is the optimum way to exercise
This exercise combination is best at reducing cardiovascular risk and boosting longevity
It combines heart health benefits with the development of lean muscle
Strength training alone will not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
While strength training gives valuable muscular gains it doesn’t give the heart health benefits of aerobic exercise, according to new research from Iowa State University.

The newly-released research – Aerobic, resistance, or combined exercise training and cardiovascular risk profile in overweight or obese adults which was published in the European Heart Journal, found that either full cardio or half-strength, half-cardio are the most effective exercise programmes to protect the heart.

Evidence from other studies show strength training has further benefits, such as improving glucose metabolism, body composition (lean mass) and muscular strength.

The one-year randomised control exercise trial included 406 participants aged between 35 and 70. All participants met the criteria for being overweight or obese; had slightly elevated blood pressure, but weren’t taking medications; were non-smokers and prior to the study were not meeting activity guidelines. However, the participants were predominantly white and well-educated which does limit the scope.

Researchers randomly assigned participants to one of four groups: no exercise, aerobic only, resistance only, or aerobic and resistance. Those in the exercise groups worked out under supervision for an hour, three times a week for a year.

Workouts were tailored to fitness levels and health conditions, with built-in progression. Physical activity and diet data outside the lab was also taken into consideration. All participants, including the non-exercise group, wore pedometers.

Researchers measured blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting glucose and body fat percentage – all cardiovascular disease risk factors – at the start, at the midway point and at the conclusion of the trial.

Results showed that the percentage of body fat in all three exercise groups had decreased significantly compared to the no-exercise control group, but taking all four cardiovascular disease risk factors into consideration, the aerobic and combined exercise groups had lower composite scores than the control group.

Those in the aerobics-only group saw best improvements in the VO2 max test and the resistance-only group saw the biggest gains in the maximal bench and leg press tests for muscular strength.

However, the combination exercise group saw improvements in both aerobic fitness and muscular strength, suggesting that a 50/50 mix between strength and cardio is the best way to train, said the researchers.

Meta-analysis suggests that aerobic or combined exercise is generally superior to resistance exercise when it comes to blood pressure, body fat, glucose metabolism and lipid profile.

Observational studies also suggest that combined exercise provides larger risk reductions in developing clinical endpoints such as metabolic syndrome, hypercholesterolaemia, obesity and cardiovascular morbidity or mortality.

The data suggests that shorter durations of aerobic or resistance exercise – even less than one hour a week – may be sufficient to provide substantial cardiovascular benefits, with diminishing returns with increasing exercise time. This may explain the significant improvement in the composite cardiovascular risk profile with the half-aerobic and half-resistance exercise group.

Researchers found that lean mass at one year was only found in the resistance group, compared to the control group, which might make strength training more appealing for those looking to improve their body aesthetics, as well as for those who are less mobile and find cardio exercise difficult.

“Combined resistance plus aerobic exercise could be considered to increase both cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular strength that are also important to attenuate the harmful effects of obesity on cardiovascular disease prevention and longevity,” said the researchers.

The study was designed to induce no or negligible weight loss to investigate the independent effects of exercise on cardiovascular disease risk factors. However, the findings of -1 per cent body fat reduction is associated with -3 per cent, -4 per cent and -8 per cent lower risks of developing cardiovascular disease risk factor of hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia and metabolic syndrome respectively.
MORE NEWS
Influencer Anna Lewandowska reveals plans for a new 'wellness paradise' called Edan Studios in Barcelona
Fitness influencer and karate champion, Anna Lewandowska, has announced the launch of a multi-concept boutique in Barcelona called Edan Studios based on HIIT, Pilates and dance.
Luxury 20-treatment-room spa launches in Türkiye at Maxx Royal Bodrum Resort
Turkish hospitality group Maxx Royal Resorts has launched a new upscale coastal retreat on Türkiye's Bodrum peninsula, complete with a large 4,500sq m destination spa.
Victoria Brownlie recognised with MBE for services to beauty and personal care industry
Victoria Brownlie, the British Beauty Council’s chief of policy and sustainability, has been named in King Charles’ Birthday Honours 2024 for her services to the UK’s beauty and personal care industry.
Japan's first Blue Zones longevity retreat to launch at Halekulani Okinawa
A new retreat focused on helping people lead longer, happier lives is launching on the Japanese island of Okinawa.
RLA Global: Wellness hotels experience positive growth trend globally in 2023
Hotels incorporating wellness amenities experienced a significant boost in Total Revenue per Available Room (TRevPAR) in 2023, according to the latest Wellness Real Estate Report by RLA Global, produced in partnership with P&L benchmarking firm HotStats.
World leaders gather at luxury Italian wellness retreat Borgo Egnazia for G7 Summit
The 2024 G7 Summit is now underway at a destination spa resort in Puglia, Italy, with leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US convening to address some of the world’s most urgent issues.
+ More news   
 
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Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, United States
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